North West to welcome Energy from Waste plant

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has approved plans for an ‘Energy from Waste’ (EfW) power plant to be built in Lostock, Cheshire.

The plant, which will be run by energy giant E.ON’s Energy From Waste (EEW) arm, will be fuelled with pre-treated, non-recyclable waste material and will generate enough power to supply up to 80,000 homes.

The plant is also set to provide a boost to the local employment situation, with 500 jobs being created during the plant’s construction phase and a further 50 being created once the plant becomes operational.

The Director of E.ON EEW, Nader Bahri, stated:

“Many tonnes of waste that would otherwise have gone to landfill could now be used to create sustainable energy.”

He also commented that the plant would allow for the nearby gas-fired power station at Winnington to operate at a lower capacity, meaning that reliance on fossil fuels will be reduced.

Recycling Lives welcomes the decision to build the new EfW plant in nearby Lostock. The company already operations a zero landfill policy where possible and supports the decision to divert non-recyclable waste back into the energy stream, thus reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and the amount of fossil fuels needed.

While EfW is not a flawless solution, it is considered by energy and climate change experts – including those at the DECC – to be far preferable to landfill. Research has shown that processing one metric tonne of municipal solid waste in an EfW plant produces approximately one metric tonne of CO², while sending the same volume of waste to landfill would produce around 62 cubic metres of methane during decomposition. This amount of methane has more than twice the global warming potential than the one metric tonne of CO² produced during the combustion of waste in an EfW plant.

Recycling Lives understands that plans are underway to create further EfW plants in Wigan, Blackburn and Manchester – a positive step for the North West, which – with developments such as Salford’s Media City – is fast reclaiming its reputation as one of the UK’s major industrial hubs.

And, with new employment opportunities opening up in each of these projects, it seems like the region may soon become known for its recycling, waste management and renewable energy credentials. This is great news for many of the unemployed individuals that Recycling Lives works hard to assist. In collaboration with local education organisations, the company’s in-house training department offers a number of vocational qualifications in the recycling sector, including an NVQ in Sustainable Recycling Activities.

Recycling Lives will be following the progress of the proposed new EfW plants in the North West, so stay tuned over the coming months to find out more.